As news filters out about last week's Democrat Party Platform meetings, it appears that transparency-in-government warriors secured a victory. Bloggers tracking the Democrat Party platform and transparency initiatives have rightly praised sections that cement Barack Obama's Administration to more openness in all things government. One blog posted what is portrayed as actual language from the 2008 Democrat Platform states:
Open, Accountable and Ethical Government (p. 47-48)
In Barack Obama's Administration, we will open up the doors of democracy. We will create a new "open-source" government, using technology to make government more transparent, accountable and inclusive. Rather than obstruct people's use of the Freedom of Information Act, we will require that agencies conduct significant business in public and release all relevant information unless an agency reasonably foresees harm to a protected interest. We will lift the veil of secret deals in Washington by publishing searchable, online information about federal grants, contracts, earmarks, loans, and lobbyist contacts with government officials. We will make government data available online and will have an online video archive of significant agency meetings. We will put all non-emergency bills that Congress has passed online for five days, to allow the American public to review and comment on them before they are signed into law. We will require Cabinet officials to have periodic national online town hall meetings to discuss issues before their agencies.
Senator Obama was one of eight Presidential candidates to sign the Reason-led, 36 multi-coalition, Presidential Oath of Transparency. There are many battles to be engaged in the November election, but, if transparency is an issue for you, we give the Democrat platform committee â€“ and Obama --the gold medal for this round.
(Of course, transparency gold medalists also include Libertarian Party candidate Bob Barr, who recently signed the Reason Oath.)
We'll see if the Republicans in Minneapolis can keep pace.